The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on almost every sector of the economy. Many Arizonans were laid off or furloughed. In March 2020, Maricopa County’s unemployment rate soared more than seven percentage points in one month. The rate has fallen significantly since its peak and now is roughly equivalent to levels in the early stages of the pandemic. While the unemployment rate has recovered significantly, there are still hundreds of thousands of Arizonans looking for work, and thankfully several industries are hiring now.
“Arizona and Maricopa County are both outperforming U.S. unemployment rates,” says Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix of Chamber. “Industries such as construction, manufacturing and healthcare are poised for dynamic growth. Based on the Arizona Business Index consumer confidence tool, consumer sentiment regarding job satisfaction and job security also rose in Q3, which is a promising indicator as we move into economic improvement. We believe Phoenix is well positioned for a solid post-pandemic recovery.”
Arizona ranks as the sixth fastest growing state in 2020. As the state continues to grow, highways, houses, offices buildings and recreational venues need to be built. The Greater Phoenix Chamber’s 2020 Workforce Report indicates specialty trade contractors are in demand. From August 2019 to August 2020, employers from the construction sector in the Greater Phoenix area posted more than 21,000 job openings online. Hiring is happening at every level including plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractors, electrical contractors, and roofing contractors, plus an additional 8,000 positions in construction supervisor or construction manager categories.
The manufacturing sector is another industry doing well in Arizona. Its grown by 1.5 percent in the last year, led by gains in the medical equipment and supplies and aerospace specialties. Assemblers, industrial engineers and inspectors are needed. From August 2019 to August 2020, employers in Phoenix posted more than 43,000 job openings online. Companies such as Honeywell, Northrup Grumman, Intel and Boeing are looking for individuals to build body cameras, avionics equipment, semiconductors, and more.
The health care sector has grown by 5 percent in the last year, led by gains in the ambulatory health care fields. From August 2019 to August 2020, employers from the health care sector in the Greater Phoenix region posted more than 103,000 job openings online. The occupations most often employed in the health care industry are not surprising with registered nurses, home health aides, medical assistants, and medical secretaries all in the top ten.
Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, who provides no-cost career development, education and training resources, also expects education and real estate industries to have hiring needs in 2021.
According to Emsi, as of June 2020, there are more than 4,000 openings in education in Arizona, which includes teachers and support roles, which might include bus drivers, teacher aides, and administrative positions. The real estate industry needs administrative assistants and sales to more technical positions such as title officers and financial advisors.
Goodwill is committed to helping job seekers during this uncertain time. They have Career Centers throughout Maricopa County, Yuma and Northern Arizona and online services through MyCareerAdvisor.com. All services are free and geared toward job seekers who need to update their resume, practice interviewing, access training or education resources and get connected to hiring companies.
“We have successfully placed over 1,000 Arizonans in new jobs at companies throughout the community since March 2020,” says Tim O’Neal, president and chief executive officer. “We know Arizonans who have been laid off or furloughed due to COVID-19 are looking for a job today. Our career navigators are ready to help provide the training and resources needed to help these individuals get back on their feet. Our team is dedicated to finding anyone a job with sustainable wages.”
Goodwill Tips for Finding a Job in the New Year:
- Stay positive! Layoffs due to COVID-19 are not a direct reflection of your abilities.
- Update your resume. We can help reformat or update your resume, incorporate key words and give advice for how to address gaps in your employment.
- Attend a virtual hiring event. Goodwill and other companies are holding virtual hiring events. Dress professionally and have your resume ready to send off to hiring managers at the conclusion of the event.
- Talk with family and friends. Share with them what types of positions or industries interest you. Follow up with recruiters and hiring managers you meet at virtual events or connect with in person.
- Practice your interview skills. Goodwill can help you get prepared with mock interviews in person or over the phone.
- Learn a new skill. Goodwill has several computer and soft skills training courses to help you obtain the skills you need to land your next job. You can take the courses online at your convenience or at one of our Career Centers.